Foto Friday – First HDR

Foto Friday - 1st HDR

Taken with the Nikon D40 in Washington City, Utah on October 21, 2008. Manual Exposure Mode, 23mm, HDR of (1.0, 1/3, 1/10, and 1/30 sec) at f/4.5, ISO 200, Nikon Raw Format converted to Adobe DNG format. Edited in Lightroom 2.2, HDR in LR Enfuse.

I posted a few pictures in the last while that appear to have an “HDR look” that I created in Lightroom. Those are fun but I have really wanted to make a real HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo. This post documents my first attempt.

While in the St. George area I visited a mock town that was hidden inside Washington City. I saw these two sheds and was instantly fascinated by them! Alas that they were facing the wrong way (the background sky was brightly illuminated and the facades were shrouded in shadow. I didn’t bring a tripod but had my trusty bean bag (hey Mom, thanks for sewing that for me) so I was able to make this shot. I made a suite of exposures (see exposure data above and click on photo to see a super large version).

HDR Input

After import into Lightroom I used Timothy Armes LR/Enfuse Plugin to create the HDR photo. I used the automatic settings for my first run. I have provided the raw output from LR/Enfuse below.

HDR Output

So this is a good start. I now have a neutral exposure of the entire scene. Finally I did some extra tweaks in Lightroom to correct the white balance (ideally I would have fixed that before merging) and bring out more of the contrast to arrived at the version at the top of the post. So the photo isn’t amazing itself; however, I felt the process and knowledge gained were worth sharing. Please send any questions in the comments. Have a great new year and make time to enjoy yourself behind the lens this coming year!

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